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Microbiological Quality of Retail Poultry Carcasses in Spain

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Abstract:

A total of 40 eviscerated and refrigerated chicken carcasses were collected from five retail outlets (three supermarkets and two poulterers' shops) in León (Spain). The level of microorganisms on chicken carcasses was assessed using the excised breast-skin technique. Mean counts (log10 CFU/g) of psychrotrophs, pseudomonads, fluorescent pseudomonads, enterococci, Micrococcaceae, Staphylococcus aureus, and yeasts and molds were 4.84, 4.11, 3.32, 2.72, 3.80, 3.67, and 2.99, respectively. A significant correlation coefficient was found between pseudomonads and fluorescent pseudomonad counts (r = 0.827; P < 0.001) and between Micrococcaceae and S. aureus counts (r = 0.915; P < 0.001). Levels of psychrotrophs, pseudomonads, fluorescent pseudomonads, and yeasts and molds were significantly ( P < 0.05) higher in supermarkets than in poulterers' shops, possibly due to the longer period of time the carcasses spent in the supermarkets (between 1 and 2 days, as opposed to only 4 to 16 h in the case of poulterers' shops). Carcasses from poulterers' shops showed higher (P < 0.05) counts of enterococci, Micrococcaceae, and S. aureus, which suggests higher storage temperatures in these outlets. Only S. aureus counts (especially those from poulterers' shops) exceeded the established values in the microbiological criteria for poultry meat consulted.

Keywords:

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Hygiene and Food Technology, Faculty of Veterinary, University of León, Campus Universitario de Vegazana, s/n, 24071-León, Spain 2: Department of Food Hygiene and Food Technology, Faculty of Veterinary, University of León, Campus Universitario de Vegazana, s/n, 24071-León, Spain 3: Department of Food Hygiene and Food Technology, Faculty of Veterinary, University of León, Campus Universitario de Vegazana, s/n, 24071-León, Spain

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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